• Leslie Crews

How Rhythmically Challenged People Gave Me Hope




Watching rhythmically challenged people dance is one of the greatest joys of my life. Knees wobbling, joyful wiggling, and passionate head bopping are my top faves, hands down. Before you judge prematurely, know that I am no Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott. But much like these fine individuals, I don’t care if I look funny on the dance floor. But I dance on beat. Most of the time.


Who knew an invitation to a company party would bring peace and clarity to my anxious and exhausted brain.



Music unites what the man tries to divide.


As ridiculous as their dance moves looked, I admired them. Behind the drunken rendition of a river-dance, was a person that decided to let go and allow themselves to dance in public, shamelessly; the version of you that only the paint on your bedroom walls have seen.

I’ve danced in groups of enthusiastic strangers before, but this experience felt different.


The world continues to uncover just how cruel people can be to one another. Yet, any passerby would know instantly that they genuinely enjoyed being in each other’s company. Their warmth engulfed the banquet room, and for that moment, I felt safe in a public space.

Sounds of laughter and applause poured from a group of people, thoroughly invested in the moment, together.


I watched, as familiar old-school music and trap music brought people together. They danced to the same song, though a different beat. It made me proud to be alive to witness pure joy being shared by people that likely would have never met if work hadn’t brought them together.


Their ancestral roots spanned the continents. Their ages and native languages varied. But these people of differing beliefs, genders, skin tones, and ages were all on one dance floor, together.


This hodgepodge of people swaying and laughing. Sharing hugs, playfully spinning and twirling in sequin and tulle laden dresses. The moment felt spiritual. I needed to take it in. I decided to dance.


A Jewish man and a disabled black woman hyped each other up on the dance floor. Perhaps I’m sensitive, but I appreciate moments like this. Because historically, the consequence of integrated fun was often fatal. Laws once prohibited this dancing duos relatives from entering through the same door.


I’m overwhelmed with gratitude for the people who fought for our ability to laugh together on a dance floor.


An evening of dancing with total strangers made me feel like the world wasn’t as bad as every media platform depicts it to be.


In spite of global chaos, historic and ongoing, grooving on the dance floor made me realize how the struggles we’ve faced as varied people, though different, is uniting us in the way that my grandparents never could have dreamed.




I’ve been in a rut creatively. Because things are happening in this world, that are beyond any comprehension, evil and cruel.


Sometimes it feels like the scariest movies I’ve ever read, joint with the saddest most sorrowful stories I’ve ever read are coming to be. At times, it feels like the progress we thought we made during the last administration, and the advancements in human rights, were all wiped away. Like a rainbow on a dry erase board. Joy, gone.


Months, spent in a cycle of deciding whether to avoid the news — worry that I avoided too much of the news — remind myself that adulting is garbage, but I should be responsible (in doses), and tune in to the news. It’s a lot.


I appreciated the evening of dancing in my new pair of sparkly dancing shoes, with a group of kind people. It gave me hope.


I’m reminded that 60 years ago the world was a lot like what many of us are feeling today. But for me, being free to dance with a group of kind people at the beginning of 2020, felt meaningful.


The warm feeling of togetherness was a needed reminder that we are supposed to live this way. A glimpse of harmony.


I’m grateful for the privilege of sharing a dance floor with a united force of people, that don’t care about outside opinions of them or their dance moves, but care deeply about other human beings.


Like a person addicted to sugar, I crave more of that feeling. Not merely for myself, I’d overnight deliver it to everyone if I could.




Perhaps, if every person who ever uttered a hateful word, or held a hateful opinion could feel the freedom and connection that I felt while I danced in that space

Perhaps, if I could bottle up the compassion and genuine caring that I witnessed as different people, with different bodies danced

Maybe, if I could bundle up the freedom that I felt, grooving with international dancing fiends, knowing that my grandmother never saw this day

Perhaps, if I could put this feeling of peace and support in a box

and send it to You

Perhaps, you’d feel hopeful

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